RPS has managed planning approvals and environmental assessments for a 70MW solar farm near Warwick in the Southern Downs region of South East Queensland.
Supporting Queensland’s transition to more renewable energy generation, our team undertook preliminary site assessments and due diligence before preparing a development approvals strategy for the project – the first large scale solar farm established in the Southern Downs.
With key issues for the proposed development being the use of agricultural land for alternative uses, the management of stormwater, and the visual and glare impacts on nearby roads and homes, RPS undertook consultation above and beyond statutory requirements to ensure neighbours were appropriately notified and smooth the path towards development approval.
Successfully managing the solar farm’s planning approvals and negotiating outcomes with local Council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads, RPS was then able to provide an Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth) self-assessment regarding potential impacts on a natural grassland ‘threatened ecological community’.
With approvals secured and a determination that the solar farm would not negatively impact the grassland eco-system, RPS landscape architects were called on to develop a buffer area design that will mitigate visual impacts for the community and integrate the solar farm into the landscape.
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